Peter Nygård

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Peter Nygård
Peter Nygard 2016.jpg
Peter Nygård, Beverly Hills, California on February 28, 2016
Born1943 (age 75–76)
ResidenceThe Bahamas
OccupationBusiness owner
Known forFounder and Chairman of
Nygård International

Peter J. Nygård (born 1943) is a Finnish-Canadian fashion executive, founder and chairman of Nygård International, a company based in Winnipeg that makes women's wear. He was rated the 70th richest Canadian by Canadian Business Magazine in 2009 with a net worth of $817 million [1], but he is not shown on the Canadian Business ranking of the 100 wealthiest individuals and families in Canada 2018 list [1]

Early life and education[edit]

Nygård was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1943. His parents were Eeli and Hilkka Nygård, bakers who immigrated to Canada in 1952, settling at first in Deloraine, Manitoba (where Nygård Park would later be named in his honour in 2002). They moved shortly after to Winnipeg.[2]

In 1964, he graduated from the University of North Dakota with a business degree.[3][4][5]

Tan Jay[edit]

On December 1, 1967, Nygård started working as sales manager for a new jeans line of a woman’s clothing manufacturer Jacob Fashions . A few weeks later Nygård used his life savings of $8,000 and an additional loan to purchase 20% of the company from the founder Nathan Jacob. A few years later, Nygård bought the rest of the company from Jacobs daughters and renamed it Tan Jay.[2]

Nygård apparel manufacturing company was founded in 1967 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Its Canada headquarters is now in Toronto, Ontario with its world headquarters in Times Square, New York.[6]

Nygård's fashion concept retail store opened in Times Square in Manhattan on Friday, November 6, 2009.

Nygård Cay[edit]

In 1987, Nygård built a 150,000-square-foot (14,000 m2) compound at Lyford Cay in the Bahamas. It was partly destroyed by a fire on November 10, 2009.[7] The Cay is inspired by the Mayan civilization’s architecture. One of the major buildings is a 32,000 ft2 grand-hall with a 100,000 lb glass ceiling.[8]

On April 14, 2010 Peter Nygard announced he was planning a $50 million renovation of Nygård Cay, which would take two years to complete and repair the damage and employ 200 construction workers.[9][10] But a letter from the Bahamian prime minister's office rejected his construction application, citing the improper expansion of his property through intentional accretion of land over the seabed.

On September 28, 2018 Nygård Cay was seized by the Supreme Court of the Bahamas as part of a legal battle surrounding Nygard’s efforts to dredge the sea floor around the estate [3]


Nygård has supported the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.[11]

Nygård has been a longtime sponsor of amateur sports in the Bahamas. In June 2010, is the main sponsor of Amateur Boxing Federation of the Bahamas' team for Continental Elite Boxing Championships Invitation only event slated for June 13–19 in Quito, Ecuador.[12] Wellington Miller, the president of the Bahamas Olympic Committee, said Nygård has contributed significantly to the Amateur Boxing Association of the Bahamas and their Olympic success.[13]

In April 2011, Nygård held the "2011 National Family Island Regatta" at Nygård Cay, which included a press conference to honor Bahamian musician "King" Eric Gibson.[14][15] In the same month, Nygård also donated $10,000 to Josie Poitier, a member of Old Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, during a Passover/Good Friday Breakfast/Brunch.[16][not in citation given]


Nygård has been accused of abusive labor practices, tax evasion, sexual harassment and rape.[17]

  • In 1978, Nygård's takeover of a sportswear designer's business in New York City led to a 12-year legal battle in New York federal court.[17]
  • In 1980, the Free Press wrote that Nygård was charged with the rape of an 18-year-old girl by Winnipeg authorities. Later those charges were dropped.[17]
  • Nygård settled sexual harassment complaints by three former employees in Manitoba in the late 1990s.[17]
  • In 1999, Nygård sued Linda Lampenius for defamation when she claimed that he hired lookalikes for his Oscar party and "defrauded the entertainment industry and international press". The case was settled with Lampenius printing an apology in the Finnish press.[17]
  • In 2003, Nygård was sued in Florida by an American couple who claimed he deceived them into accepting jobs as managers of his Bahamas estate. The case was settled in 2007.[17]
  • In 2006, Canadian tax authorities claimed Nygård underreported $15 million in taxes. Nygård argued that he severed residential ties with Canada in 1975; he was ultimately subject to taxes on an unreported $2 million.[17]

In 2007 with a bit of irritation over runoff has escalated to a battle royal encompassing no fewer than 16 legal actions between Nygård and Luis Bacon and their associates, in which both sides are claiming damages in the tens of millions of dollars and lobbing allegations of activities that include vandalism, bribery, insider trading, arson, murder, destruction of the fragile seabed, and having a close association with the Ku Klux Klan. Bacon v. Nygard, 150400/2015, New York State Supreme Court, New York County[18]

  • In 2008, Nygård was sued in Los Angeles Superior Court by a former girlfriend for slamming a door on her hand. Nygård quickly settled the lawsuit.[17]

In 2012, Nygård launched a lawsuit against the CBC regarding copyright issues about private videos taken at his residence, which were then used in an April 2010 documentary.[19][20] He had also launched a copyright complaint with the US District Court in New York[21][22][23] and a lawsuit in Manitoba to prevent the piece from airing.[24] He had previously sued two former employees for releasing confidential information and his lawyer claimed CBC harassed many of the employees.[24] Nygård launched a civil suit against his neighbor and the Lyford Cay Property Owners Association alleging they conspired with the CBC to damage his reputation; he also filed a private criminal prosecution against three CBC journalists accusing them of conspiring to discredit him and his clothing empire.[25][26]

Personal life[edit]

Nygård currently lives in Nassau, Bahamas.

He has seven children by four women.[27][28] He has been married one time, briefly, in the 1970s, to a model.[29]

He dated Anna Nicole Smith for several years.[29]

He fathered a daughters Alia and Bianca and son Kai, with Patricia Bickle.[30][29]

He fathered a son, Mika, with Kaarina Pakka of Oakville, Ontario.[27][29]


Nygård owns the following Boeing 727-17 (VP-BPZ) aircraft for personal and corporate use:[31]

Peter Nygård's Aircraft:
Aircraft In Fleet Notes
Boeing 727-017 1


  1. ^ Kirbyson, Geoff (2009-11-19). "Manitobans make magazine's Rich 100 list". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "North Dakota Entrepreneur Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2011-04-29. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Entrepreneur Awards". Archived from the original on 2011-07-01. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Nygard International Company Profile".
  7. ^ "Fire destroys Nygard's Bahamas compound", Winnipeg Free Press, November 10, 2009
  8. ^ "Nygård Cay". Archived from the original on 2010-06-26. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Nygard pledges 50 million comeback". The Nassau Guardian. Archived from the original on 2010-06-27. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  10. ^ "Nygard Cay is not licensed as commercial property". The Nassau Tribune. August 16, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-08-22. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  11. ^ "$26.5 million Raised Nationwide as Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure Celebrates Sweet Sixteen". Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  12. ^ "Nygard sponsoring team for 'invitation only' amateur boxing event". The Tribune. June 1, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  13. ^ "Nygard to sponsor Exuma regatta". The Tribune. March 29, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  14. ^ "Nygard Does It Again, Sponsors National F.I. Regatta". Jones Bahamas. March 28, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  15. ^ "I did everything that I could to make it such a great sport". The Tribune. March 29, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-04-29. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  16. ^ "After years of giving, volunteer gets recognition, reward". Miami Herald. April 25, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Falkenberg, Kai (November 18, 2010). "Peter Nygard Answers to No One". Forbes Media LLC. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  18. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Nygard files another lawsuit against CBC". 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  20. ^ "Former Deputy PM denies defending Nygard International against immigration accusations". The Nassau Tribune. April 14, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  21. ^ "Fashion mogul Peter Nygård tries to block airing of CBC show". 2010-01-12. Archived from the original on 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  22. ^ Famous Fashionista says: (2010-01-11). "Nygård seeks damages from the CBC". Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  23. ^ Austen, Ian (2010-01-10). "Nygard Sues Over Unwanted Media Coverage". Canada: Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  24. ^ a b Owen, Bruce (2010-01-13). "CBC probe distracts staff, Nygård claims". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  25. ^ "Nygard enemy bolts". Toronto Sun. 4/9/2011. Retrieved 2011-04-26. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  26. ^ "Fashion tycoon Peter Nygard files criminal complaint against CBC". Toronto Sun. 4/1/2011. Retrieved 2011-04-26. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  27. ^ a b
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b c d
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Peter Nygård's Aircraft"

External links[edit]